Donors commit to Rwanda’s agricultural development

Statistics on Rwanda’s economic performance indicate an average increase in agriculture of 4.3 percent over the last five years. This year, the sector recovered from the 2007 decline with growth estimated at 14.8 percent The Government of Rwanda and her development partners have signed a pact that will see the former acquiring more donor support for agricultural production.
Farmers in a rice field.
Farmers in a rice field.

Statistics on Rwanda’s economic performance indicate an average increase in agriculture of 4.3 percent over the last five years. This year, the sector recovered from the 2007 decline with growth estimated at 14.8 percent

The Government of Rwanda and her development partners have signed a pact that will see the former acquiring more donor support for agricultural production.

According to government officials the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed last week between donors and the Ministry of Agriculture dubbed, ‘Agriculture Sector-Wide Approach,’ meant unlimited support towards agricultural development.

The MoU was one of the highlights of the annual government of Rwanda development partners’ meeting that was hosted in Serena Kigali Hotel last week.

The donor agencies present during the signing ceremony included, the World Bank (WB), African Development Bank (AfDB) and several United Nation (UN) agencies.

The signing of the MoU was one of the highlights of the development partners’ meeting with government. According to the Minister of Agriculture, Christopher Bazivamo, the signing defines future partnership in the development of agriculture.

“The MoU has provisions of funding, monitoring and review of progress made in efforts for the development of agriculture,” Bazivamo said. However the MoU didn’t come with a specified financial commitment.

“We cannot talk of economic development in this country without giving due attention to the agricultural sector,” Bazivamo said.

“It lays the foundation for agriculture to play its role in the development and economic growth of Rwanda especially in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” he added.

At the forum, agriculture was regarded one of the driving forces towards Rwanda’s economic prosperity with a projection of 10 percent economic growth.

Statistics on Rwanda’s economic performance indicate an average increase in agriculture of 4.3 percent over the last five years. This year, the sector recovered from the 2007 decline with growth estimated at 14.8 percent.

Agriculture is also one of the six pillars of the country’s Vision 2020, which aims at replacing subsistence farming with a fully commercial agricultural sector by 2020.

Currently, the sector contributes about 40 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and generates 90 percent of the foreign exchange earnings, from mainly tea and coffee.

Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank (WB) Country Manager for Rwanda was optimistic that the MoU will boost efforts towards development of agriculture.

One of the agricultural efforts under the WB support is the Rural Sector Support Project (RSSP). It is aimed at increasing agricultural production especially in marshland and hillside areas targeted for development.

With the current pace of agricultural development, Rwanda aspires to become a middle-income country by 2020, with per capita income of $900. Over 80 percent of Rwanda’s population is believed to depend on agriculture.

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